One of the best ways to find new solutions to persistent IT problems is to give your most skilled workers the freedom to work with vendors and try new technology without the pressure of having to reach a breakthrough, according to Ken Piddington, CIO of the Fortune 500 company Global Partners. Piddington says he has set aside 5% of the work week for his employees to experiment with new technology and collaborate in a competitive environment to reach the best solutions. "It's fun to see them jockey for position and then play nicely together for our benefit," he says.

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